Over the last few days I have been working on cleaning the contacts. I started with the contact that was in the worst shape. As you can see, this one was very heavily corroded.
I brushed as much of the loose dirt and debris as possible from the contact using a brass-bristled brush.
In doing research on restoring wiring harnesses, I came across a video describing the proper way to clean and restore contacts and connectors. As a wiring harness ages its contacts and connectors tend to oxidize. This oxidization travels up underneath the jacket of the wire as well, so just cutting and splicing on a new contact becomes problematic. As long as the contact is intact, it is better to clean and deoxidize the original contact or connector.
The process for cleaning is quite simple and very cost-effective. It requires only four ingredients: water, vinegar, salt, and baking soda. Fill one glass container with vinegar and add as much salt as you can get to dissolve in the vinegar. Fill a second glass container with water, and add as much baking soda as you can get to dissolve in the water.
Insert the contact to be cleaned into the vinegar/salt solution, and submerge the contact a couple of inches below the water line. Leave this sit for a minimum of two minutes.
You can see after the first treatment that it had already started to eat away at the oxidization and rust.
I used the brass-bristled wire brush to knock away any loosened corrosion. With this contact being as bad as it is, I knew it would take several treatments.
I put it in the vinegar solution for another two minutes and worked on wire brushing the next few contacts in line to get them ready.
While trying to wire brush the other contacts on the harness, I accidentally knocked over the vinegar solution, spilling it on my work bench. I decided it would be better to wire brush all the contacts on the entire harness first and then clean each of them.
The rest of the contacts were no where nearly as corroded as the first, and most of what I was brushing off was leftover gummy dielectric grease.
With all the contacts brushed, I went back to cleaning the first one. You can see the vinegar has already made a remarkable difference.
Satisfied with the condition of the contact after the vinegar solution, it is time to neutralize the acidity with the water/baking soda solution. Submerge the contact as before, although this time you are going to agitate the contact within the solution for twenty seconds.
While I was neutralizing the first contact, I started the second contact soaking in the vinegar solution.
Here is the first contact after both solutions. I sprayed it with electrical contact cleaner to remove any remaining moisture.
Here is the second contact after being cleaned in the vinegar solution. You can see that even the copper wire around the crimp has been restored to its copper color.
I repeated the process with the rest of the contacts.
I realized as I made my way through the groups of contacts that I could get more than one contact soaking at the same time.
I sprayed off all the contacts with electrical contact cleaner as a final step in the cleaning process.
A KARR update:
I ordered new wheels and tires for KARR. Although I liked the look of the wheels that were originally on KARR, I am not a fan of low-profile tires. Not only do they ride rougher, but they just did not look right on the car, in my opinion. I need to wash KARR tomorrow, and then I will take pictures of the new wheels installed.